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20121230
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reid and john boehner exchange harsh words. the fiscal cliff in just five days and still no deal. the winter storm that slammed the south is now stranding thousands of travelers in the northeast and beyond. that is coming up. >>> and the russian president vladimir putin says he will sign a bill banning americans from adopting russian children. that's all ahead unless breaking news changes everything on "studio b." i'm trace gallagher in for shepard smith. first from fox at 3:00, back to work in washington, d.c. with less than five days to go before falls right off the fiscal cliff. the senate back in session today and it's the first time the senate or house has met for business between christmas and new year's in more than four decades. president obama cut his hawaii trip short arriving in washington early today. for now, the house of representatives is not in session but we've learned those lawmakers are set to return this weekend. today the senate majority leader, harry reid, says we've just about run out of time. >> if we go over the cliff, and that's where we're headed, mr. p
saw yesterday senate majority leader harry reid basically accusing john boehner of running a deck tate toreship, that was his word in the house of representatives. reid piled on a little bit late yesterday afternoon and senate republican leader mitch mcconnell responded. take a listen. >> speaker boehner should call members of the house back to washington today. he shouldn't have let them two in fact. they're not here. they're not here. john boehner seeps to care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> reporter: there have been all eyes on senator mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, the counterpart to harry reid because he has been pretty quiet early on in the negotiations. was defering speaker boehner to give the republican side. after hearing senator reid yesterday, senator mcconnell fired back. take a listen. >> we're coming up against a hard deadline here and i said, this is a conversation we should had months ago. and republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we
. and then i'm told that mitch mcconnell and harry reid, the democratic leader in the senate jumped in before john boehner really got a chance to fully respond and say, look, we will take the ball and try to pass a bipartisan bill in the senate. the president responded by saying i will give you a day or two but we're running out of time. if you don't get it done in the senate. i want an up or down vote. then he came out and addressed reporters in the briefing room it is clear that the president is only cautiously optimistic that this is going to take a look. take a listen. >> it if there are disagreements they sort through the disagreements. the notion that our elected leadership can't do the same thing is mind boggling to them. it needs to stop. i'm moderately optimistic that an agreement can be achieved. >> the president realizes after weeks of saying no they will get it done at the first time. they realize for the first time we may go off the cliff. harris. >> harris: they do call them experts for a reason the ones telling us this would be coming. >> plan a was basically the dramatic 4 tri
be right. that would be senate majority leader harry reid. seemed kind of irritated that house republicans and all house members are not here in washington trying to work out a deal on the fiscal cliff. here is more from leader reid a short time ago. >> if we go over the cliff and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives, as we speak, with four days left after today before the first of the year aren't here with the speaker having told them they will give them 8 hours notice. i can't imagine their consciences. >> reporter: of course president obama has left hawaii. he is heading back to washington from his family vacation. we learned from the white house that the president had made calls to the top four congressional leaders mcconnell and boehner on the republican side, pelosi and reid on the democratic side. we'll see what the president has in mind when he touches down back in washington a little later this morning, harris. harris: mike you mentioned it. i'm mentioning it too. it is coming into the newsroom from senator mcconnell's spokesperson a
? basically the ball is in the senate's court? >> all you have to do is look at what harry reid, the leader of the senate has been saying from day one. every time that speaker boehner put forth a common-sense plan to fix this problem, harry reid would say, right off the bat it is doa, dead on arrival. not one thing that speaker boehner proposed that reid said, oh, we can work with that. it's about scoring political points. the american people are tired of all of us, i understand that. we just make used car salesmen look good. that's the only group is below us. but we've got to get our act together, and prove to the american people that we can regain the trust that they once had in us and get the job done. and as you say, not kick the can down the road. they want to us work this out. i hope we do. >> let's talk about something a little more bright. the former marine stuck in mexico. if you don't know the story, he was basically trying to go on a surfing trip. an old winnebago and a bunch of surf boards and some sort of antique, torn apart gun that he wanted to use to hunt rabbits and birds.
, was senator mitch mcconnell and here we have the majority leader in the senate, harry reid. let's listen in for a second. >> the house has reported by the press and we all know, one of the plans didn't have a name, it wasn't plan b. i don't know which plan it was because they've had a number over there. but this plan was to show the american people that the $250,000 ceiling on raising taxes wouldn't pass in the house. why didn't they have that vote? because it would have passed. they wanted to kill it. the speaker wanted to show everybody that it wouldn't pass the house. but he couldn't bring it up for vote because it wouldn't pass. republicans -- a myriad of republicans think it's the fair thing to do and of course every democrat would vote for that. the republican leader finds himself frustrated that the president has called on him to help address the fiscal cliff. he's upset because, quote, the phone never rang. he complains that i have not passed the resolution to pass the fiscal cliff but he's in error. we all know that in july of this year we passed in the senate the relief that wo
're shifting negotiation tactics now to a group of two. two senators, mitch mcconnell and harry reid, the two party leaders in the senate, are going to be trying to find a way to get a deal today. we know their staff is talking. we don't expect actually any necessary meetings between those two leaders right away today. we think that their chiefs of staff are going to be on the phone, via e-mail. this reported from our producer, ted barrett. perhaps tonight they'll see if the leaders can sit down and get together something to present to their various caucuses. now as i said, it was silent until yesterday. then we heard many people speaking. again, we heard from president obama this morning talking about how important it is to try and get a deal done this week. >> you meet your deadlines, your responsibilities every single day. the folks you sent here to serve should do the same. we cannot let washington politics get in the way of america's progress. we've got to do what it takes to protect the middle class, grow this economy, and move our country forward. >> that was the president's weekly add
. they want to see what kind of bill harry reid brings forward on the floor. he is looking at republican leader mitch mcconnell to say what are you willing to accept? so here we are. there is blame game going on. there is lot of maneuvering still. bottom line we'll probably meet this weekend heading up to the fiscal cliff and we'll see what the final offer is to see if they can push it across the finish line. gregg: mike, we're getting word the president has nod no meaningful conversation with anybody own capitol hill, especially john boehner and yet we do hear, that, you know, the seeds have been talking. that staffers have actually been negotiating. what do you hear? >> reporter: that's right. we heard there have been ongoing discussions, taking place throughout the christmas holiday but at this point republicans are saying they took a beating, if you will, trying to lead in the house, a deal that did not go very far. so they're saying, okay, harry reid, senate democrats, see what you can do, see what you put forward and see if it is good enough to possibly pass both the senate and the
this morning while senators are coming back to capitol hill. chip reid is at the capitol. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. the president arrived back in washington in a little bit more than an hour. the senate comes back tonight and the house it could be a couple of days. there is not the sense of urgency you would think there would be with a critical deadline looming. some members of congress admit they may well just go over the fiscal cliff and deal with it in january after the new congress is sworn in. leaving his family behind to continue their vacation without him, president obama boarded air force one early this morning and headed for washington to deal with unfinished fiscal cliff business. with just five days until the combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that could send the economy back into recession, mr. obama wants congress to take the lead in getting the job done. the senate convenes later today and senate majority leader harry reid told members to be prepared to address fiscal cliff issues through the weekend. reid is workin
gap measure, temporary measure before the new year? >> well, you just heard from senator reid he's pessimistic. i told you he's probably one of the biggest pes mists on the planet but i think in this particular case he has good reason to be pessimistic. the one thing that i think is important to also note is that what reid is telling people privately, i'm told, is that he doesn't want to bring anything up for a vote unlil he is sure it will pass both houses of congress and one of the reasons for that is a political one. he knows republicans won't want to take a vote to effectively increase taxes for that reason, to say i did it because i want to make sure most americans kept their tax cuts in place but also because of the markets. they really feel here if they take a failed vote and we still go over the fiscal cliff it will make the market reaction even worse than it would be if the fiscal cliff just happens which is not going to be a good scene probably. >> dana, that ing you very much. we'll be back with you in a half hour. >>> the adupgs of a russian child was almost complete.
negotiations, whether the president, senator reid or others in about a month, around thanksgiving. with the democrats not reaching out to senator mcconnell for a month, doesn't seem like they have been pushing very hard for a deal, gregg. gregg: has the bickering between reid and boehner sort of poisoned the negotiations past the point that, you know, maybe this meeting will help at all? >> reporter: it may have because it's really, we've seen tensions escalate ever since before christmas when john boehner was not able to get a deal through the house where he has a very strong republican majority. he had a rebellion amongst some of his fellow conservatives. that is what held it up. senator harry reid as you say was very rough going directly after boehner yesterday. take a listen. >> the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker, not allowing the vast majority of the house of representatives to get what they want. >> reporter: the word dictatorship n
much all this would cost going into senator reid's office and then that payment heading over to the republican side. manila envelopes changing hands. so all that is a good sign that there are discussions and progress being made, at least they are talking, don. things could be worse. >> okay. so this may be a little bit redid you know danlt, but i want you to go in specifically for me. president obama says he wants another plan put to a vote if the senate fails to come up with a plan. so what is the president's plan, and will republican leaders let that happen? >> well, okay. so senate majority leader harry reid, a democrat, has crafted an alternative proposal that he has -- saying he will put -- if the negotiations i just described fail and if the senators cannot come to a bipartisan agreement, then the democratic leader is going to put on the floor a democratic proposal that would extend tax rates for households that make $250,000 and less. hatch the alternative minimum tax and extend unemployment insurance. so that's a democratic proposal. the problem with that is, you can
are at punch bowl, national military cemetery on the island where the senator will be buried. harry reid has been making a speech moments ago and telling a where senator bob dole like senator inouye, they recuperated in michigan and later served in the senate together, bob dole walked up to the casket and lifted his left hand, his right hand was badly damage and saluted. a poignant moment. president obama at the washington cathedral, it was his really earliest political inspiration. both the president and senate majority leader reflecting on daniel inouye both a long time legislator but two days they will be getting back to work on the fiscal cliff. >> heather: the difficult job of reporting from hawaii, thank you so much, ed. >> gregg: the mother of john hammer telling her son is now in a louisiana hospital. he was released from a mexican prison last week after months behind bars. mexican authorities arrested him after he carried an antique shotgun into their country, even though he says he legally declared the weapon and had a permit for it. today his dad reportedly brought him to the emer
go up. but cnn is told that senate democratic leader harry reid is privately warning colleagues if he's not sure the president's scaled back bill will pass both houses of congress, he won't even bring it up for a vote. the concern sources say is that a failed vote and going off the fiscal cliff would spook the markets even more. sources in both parties say the most likely scenario at this point is going off the fiscal cliff. why? after january 1st, when everyone's taxes go up, the new congress sworn this on january 3rd could vote to cut taxes. a much easier vote to cast for republicans as well as some democrats. as for the president, is he nhe scheduled to leave his family tonight, come back to washington tomorrow morning, in the hopes of helping his fellow democrats try to find enough republicans to pass his plan. but of course this goes without saying that was a plan that most if not all republicans campaigned very strongly against. >> the most likely scenario is actually did go off the cliff now. ryan liza is our correspondent from washington. you look at this and we're hearing ech
to meet with house speaker john boehner, minority leader nancy pelosi, senate majority harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell. that is happening this afternoon. jessica yellin is there. jess, what do we know about the president's plan to get everybody in the same room? do we think there's going to be something that comes out of this? >> reporter: well, this is one of those cases where we really are going to have to wait and see, and all the parties involved are also going in with a big question mark. the idea is the expectation by many of the participants in the meeting is that they hope that they will be able to discuss more details about a scaled-down fiscal cliff plan. and maybe that could lead to some sort of agreement ideally for all parties in which all the senators say that they will not filibuster it, and it can go to a vote. and then speaker boehner could, in theory, agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor after the house comes back on sunday. and then we would get all of this behind us before new year's eve. how likely does that sound? not so likely. >> yo
they had to figure out, victor, is whether or not harry reid working with the white house on this can get enough votes from republicans to cross party lines for even a scaled back measure, which the president laid out in general on friday, would just be to keep americans' taxes where they are for those making $250,000 or less. and to do a couple of other things, unemployment benefits, maybe, maybe extend the estate tax cut, which is -- which is also going to run out, but, again, they're not even -- the senator won't even consider doing this, i'm told, unless he's sure they'll get through the senate and the house because politically they don't think there is any reason for congress to take votes that are just going to fail. also, they that i it will be bad for the markets, even worse for the markets to have failed votes and then go off the fiscal cliff. >> so the idea that john boehner is even having this conference call, discussing the possibility of bringing the house back into order, is that an indication that he's optimistic that there will be something that he could get a few minority
, the word we're getting is that harry reid is going to pass an extension of the bush tax cuts for anybody under 250,000, extend unemployment benefits for two million folks. um, now, if that happens, it goes to the house, and the house will probably have to put it up. aren't republicans, your party, going to wish that they had passed plan b? >> absolutely, gregg. look, plan b really should have been our plan a, number one. number two, plan b was really the idea of chuck schumer and nancy pelosi as recently as in this summer. to set the threshold on incomes to a million dollars versus 250,000, allow those tax rates for a million and above go up, the president talked about taxing millionaires and billionaires, that would be right, and now let the rest of the country enjoy the extension of the full bush tax cuts which i think we now even see democrats acknowledging have meaningful -- gregg: basil, if it doesn't work, the president's going to have egg on his face, right? >> no, not at all. gregg: come on. >> the president has come back with a compromise. the people that have egg on their face
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